Irish defence coach Les Kiss says there are areas where Ireland can improve. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Whereas other coaches have bitten the bullet in finalising their 31-man squads, or will have done so by the weekend, Joe Schmidt and his assistants(...)

Frederic Michalak in action for France against England at Stade de France. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

France coach Philippe Saint-André has omitted outhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad in favour of Frederic Michalak. Saint-Andre (...)

Frederic Michalak’s resurgence has seen him earn a place in France’s Rygby World Cup squad with Francois Trinh-Duc missing out. Photograph: Getty

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre left out flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad announced on Sunday, in favour of Frederic Micha(...)

Serge Blanco dives to score a magical try and give France a 30-24 win over Australia in the 1987 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

With Australia and New Zealand through to the semi-finals of the inaugural World Cup, where they would play France and Wales respectively, it seeme(...)

France center Mathieu Bastareaud is tackled during the World Cup warm-up against England at the Stade de France. Photograph: Getty Images

France 25 England 20 England’s preparations for their home World Cup suffered a setback after they slumped to a 25-20 defeat by France that at (...)

 Luther Burrell: resumes his Six Nations partnership with Jonathan Joseph for the trip to Stade de France.   Photograph: to by David Rogers/Getty Images

Mike Catt has urged Luther Burrell to solve England’s World Cup “centre dilemma” when England face France in Paris today. The midfield is proving the(...)

Captain David Kirk kisses the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks’ 29-9 World Cup final win over France in 1987. Photograph: Getty

The Rugby World Cup is a devilishly difficult tournament to win. To do so requires countless permutations to work in your favour and as well as talent(...)

France’s centre Mathieu Bastareaud and outhalf Frederic Michalak take part in a training session in Marcoussis. Photograph: Getty Images

France have selected first-choice centre pairing Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastareaud for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match against England in Paris.(...)

Danny Cipriani has another chance to push for a World Cup spot as he starts off the bench for England against France on Saturday. Photograph: AFP

Danny Cipriani has been given another opportunity to stake his claim for a World Cup squad place after Stuart Lancaster named him on the bench for Sat(...)

Louis Picamoles  makes a break during the  match between England and France at Twickenham on Saturday. The big-carrying Toulouse number eight was France’s standout player. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The most interesting and revealing case study in these warm-up games from an Irish perspective are undoubtedly France. Ireland’s final pool game again(...)